Friday, January 29, 2010

Oriental Paper Bush

This week I took pictures of Edgeworthia chrysantha or “paper bush.” With its nodding bell shaped flower buds, it is not hard to spot in late winter. In the weeks ahead those silky calyxes will turn into half-inch long clusters of tiny tubular flowers. In addition to the peculiar white buds and fragrant yellow flowers, this plant also has an attractive form. The reddish and cinnamon colored branches fork into threes instead of twos.

On farms in southern Japan, the wood is commercially harvested to make a high quality paper. In Japanese its name (mitsumata) means “three pronged fork."

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